One game after Monta Ellis scored 48 points in a loss to Oklahoma City, Stephen Curry picked up the mantle and scored 36 points while Klay Thompson knocked in 14 fourth quarter points to lead the Golden State Warriors over the Denver Nuggets 108-101 in Denver Thursday night.
Curry scored 21 points in the first half and didn't let up, shooting a scorching 13-17 from the field for the game while contributing seven assists and seven rebounds as well. Thompson only played five and a half minutes until the fourth quarter in which he shot 6-8 from the field and 2-3 from three-point range to help seal the win and give him 19 points for the effort.
The Warriors shot 13-25 from long range and blocked 14 shots, a season high for the team, led by Ekpe Udoh's team-high five. As a team, the Warriors showed quick feet and some good half court defense, holding the Nuggets to 43 percent from the field and only eight offensive rebounds.
Arron Afflalo was the only Nugget who found his stroke for the home team, scoring 26 points on 8-16 shooting. Nene was 6-7 for 15 points, but the length of Andris Biedrins and Udoh often caused the ball to stay on the perimeter.
The Nuggets used a late first half 16-4 run to take the lead into the half, capitalizing on getting seven of their eight offensive rebounds in the quarter. But as the second half began, Dorell Wright joined Curry in getting hot from the outside, hitting three 3-point baskets in the third quarter and helping to spark a 23-5 run that would give the Warriors the lead they would not relinquish.
Ellis had eight first quarter points himself, but seemed to understand the heat that his backcourt mate, Curry, had going for him and didn't force the issue, resulting in a solid 6-14 shooting night for a total of 14 points.
Over at Denver Stiffs, Andrew Feinstein laments Denver's efforts to keep up with the hot-shooting Warriors:
Capable of catching fire with their assortment of streaky shooters, the Warriors did just that on Thursday night by connecting on 52% of their three-point attempts and 51.9% of their field goals. Trying to match them shot-for-shot, the Nuggets - who haven't been able to shoot straight en route to five straight losses and six losses in seven games - managed to connect on just 37.5% of their three pointers and just 43.5% of their field goals. And the three point numbers are somewhat misleading as rookies Jordan Hamilton and Julyan Stone each made 50% of their threes when the game was no longer in doubt.
For the winner's take, check out Golden State of Mind.